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Saturday, December 4, 2010

LODD's: 16 year-old volunteer Firefighter, Police Commander killed in the Israel Carmel Fire

TEEN VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER
The remains of a 16 year-old teenage volunteer Firefighter who was killed in the Carmel forest fire in Israel were identified this morning (Saturday). Elad Riven, from Haifa, killed on Thursday, was a volunteer with a scout group made of students who work with the regions firefighting service. Riven was in the northern city of Afula when his mother received a phone call to alert Riven to respond to the wildfire. He left and arrived on the scene to assist the Firefighters who were working to evacuate residents of the area.

POLICE COMMANDER
On Friday, the remains of a Police Commander who was killed while on his way to rescue residents were identified. Lior Boker, age 57, was head of police operations for Israel's northern region. Police had gathered a search party for Boker, who was thought to be missing, on Thursday. He apparently was caught in the fire while trying to identify the location of the bus of prison service guard students. As always, our condolences to all affected.

Most of the 42 victims whose lives have been claimed in the devastating wildfire perished on Thursday when a bus brought in to evacuate people got caught in the fire. The bus was carrying members of a Prison Service guards' course who were heading to the Damon jail in order to help evacuate inmates.

WILDFIRE CAUSE: UNATTENDED CAMPFIRE
Negligence, not arson, appears to have caused the worst forest fire in Israel's history, police said Saturday as firefighters from around the world worked to quell the deadly blaze for a third consecutive day.

Two people were arrested in connection with the fire, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said without providing further details about the suspects. "We're talking negligence at the moment," Rosenfeld said.

Israel Radio, citing unidentified police officials, said the blaze likely was started by a family that failed to extinguish a picnic fire.

The blaze, which broke out Thursday, tore through the hilly pine Carmel Forest that clings to the mountain ridge above the northern city of Haifa, Israel's third-largest city. It also lapped at the edges of small outlying communities.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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